One of the tough cuts coach Mark Dickel had to make while building Gilas Pilipinas’ final lineup for its FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers’ first window meeting with Indonesia was Allyn Bulanadi.
The Kiwi mentor liked the lanky 6-foot-3 winger’s performance in practices, but his position has already been covered by Roger Pogoy and CJ Perez, who both played in last year’s World Cup.
And so, the two are in the 12-man crew with Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Abu Tratter, Justin Chua, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Dwight Ramos, and Juan Gomez de Liaño.
“I thought that he was so good in practices. You know, and once again, that was a hard decision. But we felt we had it covered with Roger and CJ in particular in that spot,” Dickel said.
Bulanadi is actually among the pool’s original members, together with Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, and Nieto twins Matt and Mike. The five were in the selection for in last year’s PBA special draft.
The former San Sebastian star has been a consistent figure in Gilas practices starting last February 6, juggling both national team duties and his commitment to Basilan in the MPBL.
It may seem hard for his part, but Bulanadi understands the decision, as he knows that it is the best for the team.
“Ayos lang naman,” expressed Bulanadi, who was drafted by Alaska in the 2019 special Gilas draft. “Kasi tiwala naman ako sa mga kasama ko eh. Tsaka syempre for the good ng team, kaya ko namang mag-step down para sa team, para sa ikabubuti.”
But the 22-year-old cager from Davao City also takes that as a challenge to work even harder, so that he could turn his aspirations of representing the Philippines into reality soon.
“Siguro kailangan ko pumukpok tsaka kailangan ko lang, kung pwede, triplehin ko pa ‘yung effort ko, gagawin ko para makuha ko ‘yung spot sa itaas. So ‘yun lang,” Bulanadi said.
“‘Di naman ako mapapagod magpakitang-gilas sa kanila. Sa ‘kin, gagawin ko lang ‘yung dapat kong gawin para sa team.”
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